Hello, my lovelies! I’ve been a bit quiet these past months, but as the Swedish expression goes: Den som väntar på något gott väntar aldrig för länge. (One who waits for something good, never waits too long.) It is my great pleasure to announce that American guest columnist Anja-Marie is not only a newlywed, but that her big bash was lock-in-step with her values. Very sexy. Congrats to the freaky, fabulous couple. Without further ado, Ms. Anja-Marie:
Vegan weddings are simple, sexy, and set the stage for cruelty-free happily ever afters. My partner-in-crime might not be vegan, but he’s also not just humoring me when he eats my made-from-scratch plant-based meals every night, makes an honest commitment to consume less animal products, and when he indulged my desire to throw a wedding that reflects the lifestyle I wrap my arms around: V.E.G.A.N (synonymous with L.O.V.E.).
Our RSVP card was the first place we alerted our 120+ guests: “Yes, this shindig is vegan. Don’t be scared.” My first “big” purchase (Ha! Try under $60 USD on Amazon.com…) were Novacas’ Kyla Boots: reddish-brown, Victorian-ish, 100% vegan, and 100% animal-friendly.
Not only was our wedding cruelty-free, we also tried to make it as pro-furry-and-feathered friends as we could (believe me, if we could have figured out a way to have had our three cats in attendance without traumatizing them for life, we would have). Instead of the traditional rice toss, our guests threw organic birdseed.
My curls were styled into romantic bliss by one of my favorite ladies, Kelly Ansari from Ohm Salon. Products by animal-free DevaCurl; make-up by my go-to vegan companies, Urban Decay and ZuZu Lux. The naturally molted emu feather earrings I wore were handmade by the gorgeous Lindsay Bell of Water and Earth Jewelry.
All of the feathers tucked into my hair, my maid of honor’s hair, and all of the floral arrangements were completely cruelty-free; they were either naturally molted or trimmed at no-kill farms or collected from the ground out in the wild. I connected with a number of compassionate sellers on Etsy.com. Check out Mountain Feathers and Shannybeebo.
The food, oh for the love of all gods, the food. Possibly the most important component of any wedding, and certainly an all-vegan wedding. We picked a local food truck, MIHO Gastrotruck, that uses fresh, local, thoughtfully sourced ingredients, a pioneer of the farm-to-street movement in Southern California.
Hors d’oeuvres: Toasted bread bar with eggplant caponata, lemon garlic hummus, winter crunch vegetables, house-made crostinis, and assorted olives, plus tray-passed squash, sweet potato, onion, and sunchoke samosas with mint chutney alongside local roasted beets with toasted almonds.
Mains: Broccoli pesto quinoa salad, ginger-spiced kabocha soup, roasted pee wee potatoes with local herbs and garlic, blistered red noodle beans with crispy maitake mushrooms and a garlic-soy dressing, chorizo tempeh and potato tacos with fire-roasted salsa, guacamole, and locally made corn tortillas (my personal favorite), and the bello, balsamic-marinated and grilled local Portobello mushrooms with roasted fennel pesto, local arugula, and a whole wheat bun (my new husband’s favorite).
Sweets were crafted by Robin Cole of Life Is Sweet Bake Shop, a local, DIY, one-woman-show of a bakery that also operates out of an entirely vegan food truck, Seabirds. Bridal cake: 6” round chocolate cake, fresh strawberries, and vanilla frosting.
Assorted goodies: mini red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, banana cupcakes with coconut frosting, chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting, and churro cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting. She made mini, gluten-free raspberry cheesecakes, mini lemon tarts, and mini brownies. And if that wasn’t delicious enough, she also baked mini chocolate chip cookies and gluten-free peanut butter cookies.
It wouldn’t be right to write this post, or even speak of our wedding, without mentioning how blessed we are to have families and friends that pull together to make the impossible a reality. Elisa, my sister, my love—on an average day, I can’t survive without her; for our wedding, she played the roles of maid of honor, song editor/mixer, DJ, emcee, and almost every DIY project I tackled in the months leading up to the big day, there she was, toiling away beside me. My cousin (read: sister), Erika, handwrote every sign that guided guests from one place to another.
My Farmor (that’s Danish for “Grandma”) knitted 75+ moss and crème triangles that composed the pennant flags that hung throughout the ceremony and reception sites, while my Mommy hand-stitched the letters that turned the flags into messages: “SWEETS”, “DRINKS”, “JUST MARRIED”, and the words that hung behind us as we officially intertwined our lives, “WITH LIGHT IN MY HEAD / YOU IN MY ARMS”.
A tune originally performed by The Waterboys, the ever-humble and talented (and VEGAN!) Ted Leo recorded a dreamy, acoustic version of “Fisherman’s Blues” for our processional. Our nearest and dearest friends and family not only walked down the aisle with us, our ceremony was also conducted entirely in rhyme by a happily-in-love married pair of our buddies. And our fathers, bless them. Without those two, we couldn’t have swung any of it.
And last – but certainly by no means least – have you noticed that we managed to find the most magical photographer, like, EVER, to capture our precious moments? Tyler Branch and his radiantly eight-month-pregnant wife Katie not only seamlessly integrated into our big day, they are also two of the sweetest, most loving people we’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting (ultra-romantics that even share our passion for obscure Aronofsky films… SWOON!) Just add them to the list of incredible individuals that interconnected to weave the tapestry of, literally, the happiest day of my life.